Social tagging involves complex processes of human categorization that have been the topic of much research in the cognitive sciences. In this paper we present a recommender approach for social tags whose principles are derived from some of the more prominent and empirically well-founded models from this research tradition. The basic architecture is a simple three-layers connectionist model. The input layer encodes patterns of semantic features of a user-specific re- source, which are either latent topics elicited through Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) or available external categories. The hidden layer categorizes the resource by matching the encoded pattern against already learned exemplar patterns. The latter are composed of unique feature patterns and associated tag distributions. Finally, the output layer samples tags from the associated tag distributions to verbalize the preceding categorization process. We have evaluated this approach on a real-world folksonomy gathered from Wikipedia bookmarks in Delicious. In the experiment our approach outperformed LDA, a well-established algorithm. We at- tribute this to the fact that our approach processes seman- tic information (either latent topics or external categories) across the three different layers, and this substantially enhances the recommendation performance. With this paper, we demonstrate that a theoretically guided design of algorithms not only holds potential for improving existing recommendation mechanisms, but it also allows us to derive more generalizable insights about how human information interaction on the Web is determined by both semantic and verbal processes.
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